Bugs and things that should still be made.

I have to have a certain respect for insects. Most of my electronic (paying) work has to do with them.

But they also cause the strangest problems - especially mud daubers. For persons not living in the U.S., mud dauber is a generic term for several species of wasp that use mud to construct nests. They lay their eggs in the internal tubes, and pack them with paralyzed spiders so the larvae may have fresh food.

They are unbelievably opportunistic, as well. Place a box in the shed with a small opening, and it will have mud nests in it three days later.

I was working on a car, doing a drain and refill on the radiator. After lunch, I attempted to drain some coolant out of the radiator, and found that a mud dauber had completely filled the drain cock in 1 1/2 hours.

Today, I spent several hours finding why my furnace wouldn't light. It is a kind that pulls air from the outside. I cap the inlet to keep mud daubers from blocking the pipe. They felt challenged and built the nest way inside the exhaust pipe, so I got to spend 20 minutes knocking the mud loose and raking it out with some building wire.

For the things that should still be made, try the CD4534. A 24 pin IC with 5 cascaded decade counters inside, plus output multiplexers so you can read all five stages out.

Nobody seems to carry them anymore.

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